The Sony Xperia 5 II is exclusive for its connection to the previous – it has a basic design, a measurement that attracts comparisons with the beloved Compact fashions and options like the three.5mm jack that different makers have deserted for contemporary alternate options like USB-C and Bluetooth.

It’s additionally a cellphone that completely embodies Sony – a tech large recognized for its music gamers, cameras, TVs and recreation consoles. The corporate has a repute of high quality in all of these fields and the Xperia 5 II unabashedly shows related branding from these product line-ups: Bravia, CineAlta, Bionz and so forth. However not all the things is because it seems.

It’s not small

Sony describes the Xperia 5 II as “compact and highly effective”, however in reality the cellphone is barely a type of issues. It measures 158 x 68 x Eight mm whereas a Galaxy S20 is 151.7 x 69.1 7.9 mm, each weigh 163 grams. If the Xperia is compact then so is the Galaxy. Wanting again at 2018’s XZ2 Compact, the final of its type, we see that it measures 135 mm tall and 65 mm extensive, noticeably shorter and narrower (although a lot thicker, 12.1 mm, and a bit heavier too).

It’s possible you’ll level at Sony’s choice to stay with a 21:9 facet ratio as the rationale that the 6.1” show (and thus the cellphone) is as tall as it’s. However the S20 has a 6.2” 20:9 display, which is definitely a millimeter taller.

Hot take: Sony Xperia 5 II

If you wish to know the true motive why the Xperia is taller then look no additional than the highest and backside bezels. Not that they’re with out their advantages, only a few telephones immediately provide front-firing stereo audio system. And there’s no notch/punch gap, although the aesthetic advantages of which might be subjective.

The non-plus chipset continues to be a plus

Sony caught with a Snapdragon 865 chipset, the identical one which powers the Xperia 1 II. So, no, not the S865+. That plus is value 10% further CPU and GPU efficiency, which might have appeared nice subsequent to the Xperia’s newfound gaming ambitions.

Nevertheless, we see the S865 as a optimistic. Think about the OnePlus Nord and the upcoming Pixel 5 – each stepped right down to the 765 chip, regardless that each product strains have been utilizing 8-series Snapdragons since their inception. The Xperia 10 II is powered by a 665 chip, so there’s room in Sony’s line-up for a 765-based cellphone, which may simply have been the Xperia 5 II if issues turned out in a different way.

And have a look at the Galaxy S20 once more – in case you’re in Europe, then you possibly can solely want you may get the Snapdragon 865. It’s Exynos or nothing for Europeans (there’s some hope that the S20 FE will change that).

Anyway, the 865 continues to be loads quick and Sony says it shored up the cooling system and tweaked the software program for optimum efficiency. These 10% further aren’t going to magically make a 60fps recreation run at 120fps anyway.

A promising digital camera with wise design

The Sony Xperia 5 II makes use of the 1 II digital camera with a few adjustments. First, the 3D ToF sensor is gone and a few fear it will have an effect on autofocus efficiency (which is one thing that we are going to take a look at). Second, there are some new software program options that can be back-ported to the 1 II.

The principle digital camera has a 12MP sensor 1/1.7” in measurement – that works out to massive 1.Eight µm pixels, similar because the Galaxy S20. Would a Quad Bayer filter have been higher for night-time images and movies? Possibly, however Apple and Google are each pleased to stay with normal 12MP sensors and theirs are smaller in order that they have 1.4µm pixels to work with.

Hot take: Sony Xperia 5 II

The sensor decision precludes 8K video seize, however that’s a distinct segment use case anyway. Sony does allow 4K gradual movement movies recording at 120 fps, although, which is a 4x slow-down when rendered at 30 fps. Each the iPhone and the Galaxy need to drop right down to 1080p if their homeowners need to shoot at 120fps.

The 12MP zoom digital camera is a regular tele module, no periscope right here, however with 70mm focal size it affords significant magnification (3x) whereas nonetheless being appropriate for portrait pictures. Plus, even the Galaxy Be aware20 Extremely dropped the 48MP Quad Bayer sensor for its zoom cam and settled on 12MP.

The 12MP ultrawide digital camera boasts Twin Pixel autofocus whereas some flagships nonetheless use mounted focus lenses on their ultrawides (e.g. Galaxy S20, iPhone 11 Professional). All of that is to say that the Xperia 5 II digital camera is correctly aggressive with different flagships.

Xperia 5 II's triple cam: 16 mm ultra wide
Xperia 5 II's triple cam: 24 mm main
Xperia 5 II's triple cam: 70 mm telephoto

Xperia 5 II’s triple cam: 16 mm extremely extensive • 24 mm important • 70 mm telephoto

Some Sony-specific goodies just like the ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating, shutter key, wonderful Eye AF and 20 fps burst capturing with AF/AE bolster that declare.

The bespoke apps provide options that semi-serious photographers and videographers will admire, issues like 21:9 24 fps cinematic capturing mode with pre-loaded coloration LUTs, for instance.

Gaming with hints of PlayStation

Sony is legendary for its cameras and is simply as well-known within the gaming world – the PlayStation Four hit 110 million gross sales earlier this yr. And the Xperia 5 II itself was unveiled the day after Sony introduced the PlayStation 5 costs. Why didn’t the corporate mix the 2 occasions, its Xperia line-up wants each little bit of promotion it will possibly get.

Hot take: Sony Xperia 5 II

Maybe Sony didn’t need to burden considered one of its most profitable merchandise with considered one of its least profitable. Sony portables have by no means carried out in addition to house consoles and its telephones are caught in a rut. However we’re not right here to lament the dearth of a PlayStation cellphone.

Can the Xperia 5 II draw within the gaming crowd? Sony did arrange some strong promotion for the cellphone (even when it’s not cross promotion) – it is going to be closely featured in Name of Responsibility: Cellular tournaments. CoD: Cellular already has 100+ million installs from the Play Retailer, it’s one of many largest video games on the earth.

Hot take: Sony Xperia 5 II

And Sony is pushing the native DualShock Four controller compatibility. All Androids assist it, so this isn’t an unique or something. However the primary motive folks have a DS4 controller is that they purchased a PS4. And meaning they’ll use Distant Play. Which, once more, isn’t Xperia-exclusive (although it was), it is simply one thing that reinforces the Sony ecosystem.

(Audio) jack of all trades

Few applied sciences as previous as the three.5mm jack are as sorely missed. Like different makers, Sony dropped it from its telephones however then reconsidered for the Mark Two technology. The corporate brazenly markets to audiophiles and that units the Xperia 1 II and 5 II other than the competitors.

They’re jacks of all trades, however opposite to the saying, they’re masters of lots of them. Whether or not you’re obsessed with music, gaming, pictures or motion pictures, the Mark Twos have options that may enchantment to you.

Hot take: Sony Xperia 5 II

The unique Xperia 5 launched with a promo bundle that included the venerable WH-1000XM3 headphones. These (or the brand new XM4) would go nice with the brand new mannequin, although Sony is but to make clear the launch bundles – thus far it has solely made allusions to a “gaming headset” (with out naming a model or mannequin).

An excessive amount of, too late

The explanation Sony isn’t dashing to advertise pre-order bonuses is that the pre-orders are nonetheless a few weeks away. The launch itself is even additional away – it’s scheduled for October 20 in some nations and for “Autumn” in others. By that point the 5.4” iPhone 12 would have launched, the Galaxy S20s can be over half a yr previous and the Snapdragon 875 cellphone leaks will doubtless have began.

After which there’s the value – $950/€900/£800. Fairly steep, contemplating a Galaxy S20 5G could be discovered for $800 proper now and can in all probability be much less by late October The 4G model is even cheaper, €600 in Europe.

As we’ve lined above, the Sony Xperia 5 II is a superb cellphone on paper however it’s a robust promote at these costs. Plus, most individuals will have already got purchased their 2020 flagships by the point the Xperia really reveals up in shops. So we worry historical past will repeat itself – the unique Xperia 1 was promising and thrilling, however the launch got here late and it didn’t make an influence in the marketplace.